Today we’re talking Rus, literally. Our awesome Amazooka brit is on the hot seat as I grill him on his background in SEO, internet marketing, affiliate sites and his eventual evolution in ecommerce and Amazon. Rus’ story mirrors many other FBA sellers but don’t tune out, he shares some gems on brand building, long term visions and strategies to grow sales on and off Amazon that make this episode one worth checking out. Plus learning more about our fun loving, moderately monotoned British businessman is always good!
Tune in To Find Out
- What MLM marketing was in the early days
- How to build passive, solid income with affiliate websites
- Why Amazon and ecommerce trump traditional “make money online” ventures
- What masterminding is and the value it can have in your business
- How dropshipping is a great first step into Amazon businesses
- Ways to make an Amazon partnership work
- How Amazon investing can be a powerful growth strategy
- Why multiple products push upsells and FBA sales
- What to do when your private label product tanks
- How to get snookered by a supplier and lose big money! Do due diligence.
- The advantages of engineering the BEST product possible and long term 10 years visions
- Strategies for garnering traffic and sales
- Managing traffic sources to protect your business
- How to grow off-Amazon ecommerce sales
- When to start creating new products
Tools and Resources Mentioned During the Show
Rus: Hey I’m Rus.
Matt: and I’m Matt.
Rus: and we’re at the Amazooka Podcast
Matt: We try to sell stuff on Amazon right now it’s going awesome and we want to automate your business. So let’s get started.
Matt: So guys today I’m gonna be interviewing Rus we want to get a little bit deeper into what his business was like, what he’s doing on Amazon and hopefully you guys learn some stuff about it. Sounds good?
Rus: Sounds great.
Matt: Awesome. Okay Rus we talk a little bit about what you did before. So how did you get into E-commerce and Amazon?
Rus: It was general progression I guess. I mean I first made money online probably around 2003 doing multi-level marketing, I guess.
Matt: Oh no.
Rus: You know remember those systems where you’d sign up for an offer and then if you brought 5 people on to you, you’ll get like an Amazon voucher or something.
Matt: Yeah, the Ponzi schemes.
Matt: We got a lot of people go to jail for those, those were fun.
Rus: Yep, so I signed up to one of those run Google Ad traffics to it. Made like thousands of dollars’ worth of Amazon vouchers it was really awesome and then Google suspended my account.
Matt: What did you do to all of those vouchers. You’ve got thousands of box on Amazon.
Rus: You know electronics like I bought the biggest TV in the world and stuff. I kind of, I was turning the pennies into like 10s and 20s of pounds so at the time you can buy food but I did buy like the biggest TV, you know a bunch of consoles so that kind of stuff. I just spent it on like crap.
Matt: Oh man.
Rus: Yep it was very man craving it was like everything I needed I guess or didn’t even need wanted is a better term I just spent it on things I wanted.
Matt: It’s ok you can get everything now.
Rus: So that was like wow okay, this is not quite, I didn’t feel like a business it wasn’t a business, it wasn’t really making money online it was making Amazon vouchers but that was my first kind of like wow you can leverage the power of the internet and marketing in order to get a return that was pretty cool. After that went to, we started building affiliate websites the first ones turn terribly but then I started to get to know WordPress a lot better you know I’m a developer so kind of I was able to develop some things and plugins that facilitated certain features that most other WordPress sights didn’t have and then yeah I think my best months are around 20 thousand pounds profit from my affiliate marketing sites which.
Matt: Pretty solid.
Rus: Took 10 years to get there but you know they’re there now and they’re still just improving as the days go just nice but they’re just on autopilot then from there more affiliate sites in a slightly different angle but I didn’t, you know I’ve got like this massive 15 year history also of creating websites, ranking them on google using SEO that kind of stuff and then kind of then google would throw a panda or something so I don’t want to do this anymore I want a real business something that Google can’t just take away and that’s where E-commerce comes in, like the idea of going back to what I first did and essentially running arbitrage between Google Paper click adverts or Facebook Adverts then your own products and making a margin Google can’t take that away from you and as long as you are actually making that Margin what you need to do is spend more money on Adverts reach bigger audience and then fairly you’re making more money. So that’s why I feel in love with E-commerce.
Matt: Kung fu Panda shield and you started to get into Amazon, I remember you brought me, you kinda got me in the Amazon I thought you were a little bit Crazy. What got you there?
Rus: I met Matt at the Drop ship Lifestyle retreat run by an awesome guy Anton Craylee that was in Chiang Mai it was like, I was chatting in the room with 400 plus people I think I was the only person there who’d been doing Amazon. I had few drop shipping stalls.
Matt: As an entrepreneur, guys don’t go into Drop Shipping now just go straight to Amazon.
Rus: Pros and Cons of both but then also we’re doing like 3 – 4 days’ worth talks just focusing on how to like push E-commerce business is in, push out E Drop Shipping business and then a guy came on I think it was Brandon Brans and he gave his presentation to everyone about selling on Amazon and I’m kind of like we’re now gonna be 400 people in this room who are no longer gonna be drop shipping but selling on Amazon very shortly and within 3 months pretty much half the people I met during that conference has switched from Drop shipping to Amazon. A lot of them very successful now I think Kaye was absolutely destructed.
Matt: Oh Kaye is crushing that, Kaye have to pull me into.
Rus: Yeah, well on the way to over half a million dollars this year which is cool but yeah I kind of sat there and going this is gonna be interesting and then the next three days I basically filled it up a lot of questions to people that were interested in doing very similar thing.
Matt: Yes you did, you filled it with some awesome tiger questions there and that pulled me a little bit longer shoestrings but you started on Amazon business with some partners or something right?
Rus: Yes I’ve got a good friend multi good friends Andy and Dan who I started with back in England which is cool because I mean I didn’t really know it then but essentially what we’re doing were masterminding so like every couple of days we come together on a pub and essentially having mastermind session you know we are, we both kind of sat down we petrify thousand pounds each into this E-company bank account and it was like right what we turn this 5000 pounds into? Sense how you can turn it into a lot.
Matt: Yeah you’re reinvesting everything.
Rus: Yeah I mean when I was going when I was in Chian Mai for Christmas I think there [INAUDIBLE 06:36] like Rus okay you’re doing so well whether you’re investing your money in expecting, you know I’ve spoken to people and they’re like they’re investing in Gold and out here in Barcelona is to investing property but that back in December was like dude I’m investing in Amazon, I’m investing in my own business ideas that I’m gonna kind of sell on Amazon you know it’s riskier than gold but that is just essentially what I’m doing so that’s how me and Andy looked to it it’s like you know what products are we investing from Alibaba which we can earn on selling on Amazon to get bigger return.
Matt: More than products brands guys, brands.
Rus: Yeah, so I think our first product we bought like 500 units for maybe 3 dollars a piece so after we got the label design and post each and everything else probably at 1800 dollars to get the product from the manufacturer into Amazon, then we run some ads and it’s like you know a 3 and a half dollar product is now selling for 20 and then we sell out and it was like wooh, okay. So we just took that 1,800 dollars and we turned it into about 10,000. It’s like okay so can we do this again. So we use some of the money to buy more inventory so instead of buying the 500 I think we went up to 1,00 0 to which you’re buying in bulk you get it cheaper and it’s like Ohh can we do this for the second product? And now we buy 500 units of very completely different products and see if that works get it all back to Amazon, get the Adverts get it going. It’s like Ahh we’ve now just sold 1,000 units across two different product lines and we’ve made even more money. So we just kind of look in that like that investing in to new product lines and marketing them and hopefully making a return without making too many mistakes along the way.
Matt: Did you see an ample fire when you jumped in the second product on the first sales.
Rus: Oh yes, you can do so many sneaky things it’s possible to give like 5 percent off coupons on things so if people buy two different products from you they can get a discount and also Amazon have that wonderful. Other people also bought box halfway down the page. So if you got multiple products in the same kind of product range that people would normally buy together and if they cannot buy one of yours they quite like to buy both. So that helped to kick it up quite high.
Matt: Yeah those upsell kick your profit for customer. That’s what I’m excited about product two sit in the stores soon for me.
Rus: That’s wicked. So it’s just been a rollercoaster and like we definitely had a conquer we had one product which I think Amazon sometimes email a few days ago actually, essentially saying hey guys this product hasn’t been selling it’s just kind of sat there in the warehouse doing nothing it’s coming up to a year now. when we offer it as part of some Mega awesome sale, it’s like well alright then, I can’t remember how many units we got left so we’ve agreed to offer it on the Amazon sale and we slashed the price massively, Amazon are promoting it and now it’s starting move but that’s one we’re definitely not gonna re-order.
Matt: yeah but if you kick the price up after it starts moving, you might just turn some money on that too.
Rus: Possibly. Some products that would definitely work, in this product I’m glad to get rid of them.
Matt: Any idea why it was a conquer?
Rus: Yeah, we were marketed to so we had to grace successful the first couple of products and then the supplier sent an email.
Matt: Oh they worked you.
Rus: Yeah they totally worked us like this is the hot new thing we thought okay that sounds awesome, we did a little bit of diligence I must have been like tired or something but between us all, we absolutely missed the fact that this product was rubbish and that was a good you know for me best lessons are learned in life are always like the most painful, the other ones I never forget which is awesome because this one came hard and it came early so I’ve been able to learn from it but yeah just because one of your suppliers say you could work a good working relationship and says that the product is awesome don’t trust.
Matt: Yeah it’s like you don’t want to miss out on that steal deal but then at the same time that’s what you, that’s the psychology of sales not messing out.
Rus: Yeah, you know we were in a really positive headspace at the time it almost felt like we could just throw anything in Amazon and it’ll just sell.
Matt: Do no wrong, do no evil.
Rus: Yeah Exactly and this was a big thing whilst Amazon has a lot of opportunity on Amazon, you can still make mistakes, just because you put something there doesn’t mean that people will buy it or even people looking at it.
Matt: Where are you guys at now, with the Amazon business? I think you’ve got two brands.
Rus: We have two brands where we kind of, we’re having a massive expansion at the moment, we spent the last few months kind of just focusing on really big project which we pushed out and that’s really doing well but now we’re kind of going more back to our basics. So in the last 3 days I think we’ve hit up various suppliers we’re about to launch six new products.
Matt: Oh my God!
Rus: in the next two months. So yeah we kind of, we decided to launch 1 mega product that’s kind of been fun but now we’re gonna go and launch 6 smaller products.
Matt: What’s the mega product at this time?
Rus: Normally we try to test out an idea, normally we try invest maybe like 2 or 3 grand into it, you know so we can see if it works. I think this one we invested like 30 plus thousand.
Matt: Wow! We’ll bring you guys updates.
Rus: Yep so that’s a big gamble but you know one of the things we wanted to do was actually have the best product in the world and for this nation we do.
Matt: Yeah, you were telling me about that in CM I remember now.
Rus: Yep, so this it’s literally the best in the world, it’s the best in Amazon, I use it myself, I sent one to my parents and stuff. When I was in Phuket I gave it out to older guys I was training with and stuff and everyone loved it all the feedbacks has been amazing and that’s why we did it, the feedback you can market your product to death and you can make lots and lots of sales, you can do that no matter what it is, you can out market the competition and you can make sales as soon as that feedback starts rolling in. If you’re getting one stars enough then you’re not gonna make any more sales and your product would die. So I wanted to move into a product that was sales awesome, there’s no way anyone would leave anything other than 5 stars.
Matt: What is the product hitting Amazon?
Rus: Right now it’s getting organic sales as we speak I’m slowly getting my return back, it’s one for the long haul it’s not like a flash in the pan product where we’re capitalizing on an opportunity. It’s one that we’re gonna kind of be running with the next 10 years or so, we’re looking at sponsorship deals and all kinds of things. So it’s a biggy, but it’s still based on Amazon it’s just you have the potential for that scale of product just through the Amazon sales, and.
Matt: and with such going you can potentially go retail there are some other directions.
Rus: Yeah we’re talking to wholesalers at the moment which is another level of aweseom we also have organic sales off Amazon, but Amazon FBA is absolutely amazing.
Matt: What did you do for launching promotion stuff.
Rus: Oh, at the moment we’re doing zone blasts, putting up press releases, we’re hammering the Ad network hard and that’s garnering a lot of traffic. Also my background is in kind of SEO, so a lot of the traffic we’re getting to, I mean we’ve got a shopify site which also sales the same products which is something I definitely recommend to people. One of the things I’ve learned over the years is if you only have one traffic source, you know I was really good at Google SEO then all that happens if that traffic sales goes away if they change something, change ranking you’re screwed. So one of the things that Andy and myself really wanted to nail at box was having a lot of traffic strings so we’ve kind of pushing our shopify site just as hard as Amazon, so if anything happens to Amazon we still got a business and yeah that’s making almost as many sales as Amazon does, just organically.
Matt: That is awesome right there.
Rus: Yup, so I want to sell more I’m not gonna lie but we’re making good sales both on Amazon and off Amazon and now we’re gonna kind of, we’re gonna push more off Amazon. So Raisebrand or YNS etc. Yeah I get more people buying it off Amazon venue but the reason you know I’ve never spent 30,000 dollars on anything in my life before. So that was kind of, also that was a hard payment to make but that’s one of the good things with Amazon you can invest in this like little one and a half thousand to 2,000 dollar projects and make them work and then take that money in great bigger opportunities.
Matt: and remember guys this is the second episode of Amazon on auto-pilot but that doesn’t mean that you’ve got to go for a 30,000 dollar right off the bat. Make sure you know what you’re doing. Rus has been doing it for a while he knows what he’s doing. What about just like sales numbers, like how many units a day?
Rus: Well, basically I’m aiming for at least 20 units a day from each of my products so at peak I think we’re doing a hundred and fifty units just off one product that was a lovely product.
Rus: Yes, so you know you can get that quite easily obviously our clanker that had no units a day that since we started to sale it has got two or three or four. You know that’s managing to sell as well.
Matt: Yeah a minimum of 10, we want to make sure that you now put things that are really gonna move, because otherwise you’re just going to have some travel.
Rus: If you can sell 20 units a day then you’re doing well.
Matt: and if you can sell 10 you can probably sell 20 and then once you throw in that second product, you can probably sell 25 or 30. It kinda builds from there and the only way to make that happen is Amazooka. You gotta have some.
Rus: and main thing I’m interested in is consistency. I’ve had a few products in the past that we’re able to hammer out and sell a lot of it in a month but due to various reasons, whether there was seasonal or actually to be honest just bad reviews, you know they died so if you can get one product to flat line at about you know 10 units a day quite easily then get a second one and then a third one and then all of a sudden you’re doing fifty units a day without very much work at all. I think Kaye said it best to me in Phuket it’s like Rus I’ve got nothing to do all day what do I do and I’m like man that’s the time when you’re selling and you’ve got nothing to do it’s just taking along and all you have to do is to re-order that’s when you start bringing out a second product.
Matt: Absolutely I hammered on Kaye as well he started the second brand instead of going for the product but he’s turning things around, he’s doing well. Awesome let’s wrap up Episode 2 thanks for sharing a bit Rus.
Rus: Thank you very much!
Rus: Adios guys!
Matt: Yeah thanks for tuning in guys if you like this leave us a review it kind of helps motivate us and might as well do valuable stuff.[/showhide]